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Astron Belt

From Sega Retro

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AstronBelt-title.png
Astron Belt
Publisher: Sega, Bally Midway (US)
Developer:
System(s): Sega LaserDisc Hardware, MSX
Genre: Shoot-'em-Up






























Release Date RRP Code
Arcade
JP
1983-05[1] ¥?  ?
Arcade
US
1983-11 $?  ?
Arcade
EU
1983-07 £?  ?



MSX
JP
¥9800 PG001-12SG



Astron Belt is an arcade game released by Sega in 1983. It is notable for being the first LaserDisc arcade game to be released, a format that would later gain greater traction with Dragon's Lair and Space Ace. It is a shoot-'em-up, where the player controls a spaceship which must destroy on-screen enemies and avoid obstacles.

The laserdisc technology could mean that very detailed background scenes could be created with high quality sound, though the player's sprite and HUD are rendered separately. Though laserdisc games look and sound better than non-laserdisc games of the era, gameplay is very limited, with the player only being able to move around the screen and fire. Unlike most laserdisc games however, Astron Belt is not quite as linear as the scenes are generated at random depending on the player's actions.

History

Development

Astron Belt is the first known example of a LaserDisc arcade to be demonstrated to the public, however despite being announced first, it was not released to the public until after Dragon's Lair, which often takes credit for being the first of its kind.

Astron Belt was demonstrated at Amusement Machine Show 1982 (September) and AMOA 1982 (November), and although the game drew crowds, the build was said to be buggy and noticeably incomplete. A protracted development schedule meant that Astron Belt was not released until the Autumn of 1983. The early showing is thought to have hindered the game, as at the time, rivals were able to copy ideas and produce competing games from scratch in a matter of months.

Though most of the background scenes were created specifically with Astron Belt in mind, some are borrowed from movies such as Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Battle Beyond the Stars and Message from Space.

Legacy

Astron Belt only saw one release outside of arcades - a port to the MSX computer range through the laserdisc add-on. It is virtually identical to the arcade version, as the laserdisc itself is identical.

Astron Belt was followed by Galaxy Ranger which was also a laserdisc shooter. The two arcade games can be interchanged by swapping the disc, game ROMs and sound board.

Magazine articles

Main article: Astron Belt/Magazine articles.

Promotional material

AMLife JP 04.pdf

Arcade print advert in














Amusement Life (JP) #4 (1983-04-10)
also published in:













  • Amusement Life (JP) #5 (1983-05-10)[2]













  • Amusement Life (JP) #6 (1983-06-10)[3]













  • Amusement Life (JP) #7 (1983-07-10)[4]













  • Amusement Life (JP) #8/9 (1983-08-20)[5]

Physical scans

Arcade version

Arcade, JP
Arcade, US
AstronBelt LaserDiscHardware US Marquee.jpg
AstronBelt LaserDisc US Manual.pdf
Manual

MSX version

MSX, JP
Astron Belt MSX Box Back.jpgAstron Belt MSX JP Spine.jpgAstron Belt MSX Box Front.jpg
Cover
Astron Belt MSX JP Disc SideB.pngAstron Belt MSX JP Disc SideA.png
Disc
Astron Belt MSX JP Manual.pdf
Manual
Astron Belt MSX JP RegCard.pdf
Reg Card
Astron Belt MSX JP Front alt.jpg
Front+Sticker

References

  1. http://sega-interactive.co.jp/special/history/title/astronbelt.html
  2. File:AMLife JP 05.pdf, page 130
  3. File:AMLife JP 06.pdf, page 127
  4. File:AMLife JP 07.pdf, page 119
  5. File:AMLife JP 0809.pdf, page 111